Huawei Mate 8 Review: Examining ARM's Cortex-A72 And HiSilicon's Kirin 950
Mate 8 Design And Build Quality
The Mate 8 is a case study in minimalistic industrial design with a volume rocker and power button on the right edge, a standard micro USB synch and charge port (no USB-C) and speaker ports on the bottom, and a combination sim card and microSD card slot in a single tray on the left edge. It’s an almost stealthy little tray that pops out of the side edge offering two in one expandability. And finally up top you’ll find a mic port and a headset audio jack. Again, nothing fancy here but the standard smartphone controls and conventions get things done just fine.
The Mate 8 has chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish that feels and looks good in the hand with edge to edge gorilla glass 4, and an IPS display that, while just Full HD, still gets the job done really well with plenty of pop. The moonlight silver finish you see here has a brushed aluminum feel that completely eliminates fingerprints, while the edges of the phone offer the rigidity of solid aluminum.
On the backside you’ll find a 16 megapixel camera sensor with an f/2.0 aperture optics and an LED flash, along with the same excellent fingerprint scanner that Huawei built into the Google Nexus 6P. This fingerprint reader works really well once setup, and unlocking the phone with it is as near flawless as we’ve seen on any smartphone. The front of the Mate 8 sports a high res 8MP selfie cam with f/2.4 aperture, up top in the usual spot near the ear piece.
Again, the Mate 8's 6-inch IPS display is fairly impressive as well. Though it offers a lower resolution than many of today's high-end smartphones, in side-by-side comparison versus a Super AMOLED titan like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, the Huawei Mate 8 holds its own. AMOLED displays have better brightness, contrast and saturation, but the Mate 8’s display is actually one of the more competitive IPS displays we’ve seen versus AMOLED. It has excellent brightness, even in outdoor usage, along with excellent contrast, bright whites and fairly deep blacks. You do lose a little bit of screen area due to the Mate 8's on-screen Home, Back and active apps Menu button but with 6-inches to work with, it's a reasonable sacrifice.